The Record Exchange has been hosting live in-store performances for decades. Hundreds of artists have played our stage, including established superstars, see-them-before-they-get-big emerging artists and local musicians celebrating new album releases.
We get dozens of requests each month from musicians looking to book in-stores; we pass on the majority of them. It’s never personal. We are a store, not a music venue, and in-store productions cost real time and money. In an effort to respond to the volume of requests and answer your questions, we prepared this Record Exchange in-store primer:
RECORD EXCHANGE IN-STORES GENERALLY FALL INTO TWO CATEGORIES:
- Performances by touring artists with an established market presence and/or Record Exchange sales history – by “established,” we mean our customers already know who you are, you’re already playing to good crowds in town and you’ll fill our store with your fans.
- Local artists celebrating new album releases (see below).
WE DO NOT BOOK IN-STORES WITH …
- Touring or regional artists with little or no market presence and/or Record Exchange sales history. If we’ve never heard of you — and more importantly, our customers have never heard of you — we’re going to pass on booking you. If you’re looking for your first Boise gig or to fill a hole in your tour itinerary, we advise you to contact local venues and promoters.
- Local artists looking to play The Record Exchange “just because.” Unless you want to hold your album release party here, it’s highly unlikely we will book you. However, a couple times of year (Record Store Day, Black Friday weekend) we organize busking-style performances in front of the store featuring local artists; if you’d like to be considered, email us (contact info below).
WHAT ABOUT SIGNINGS/MEET-AND-GREETS?
- We book far fewer signings than in-store performances, and typically with superstar-level artists.
I’M A LOCAL ARTIST. CAN I BOOK AN ALBUM RELEASE PARTY?
- We regularly host album release parties for local artists. We don’t say yes to every request, but when we do, it’s usually with artists who have already established solid fanbases in town and have a strong presence in the scene. If we do book you, do know that we have expectations of you. First and foremost, we ask for $50 to help cover the cost of the professional sound engineer we hire for in-stores (no, you can’t bring your own sound engineer). Second, you are required to actively promote the event — you have the direct link to your fanbase and it’s up to you to get them here. On our end, we will promote the event in the store and through our online channels, including socials, website and newsletter. NOTE: We will not host an album release party AFTER any “official” release party that you’re already holding — we’ve tried before and no one shows up because they’ve already been to your official event; however, if you want to play a “preview” in-store a few days in advance of the official party, we’re happy to do that.
WHAT IS A RECORD EXCHANGE IN-STORE LIKE?
- We treat Record Exchange in-stores like real concerts. We have a 10’ x 20’ carpeted stage, professional PA and lighting, 24-channel digital sound board and professional sound engineer in place for every production, whether full-band electric, solo acoustic or something in between. We schedule an hour for load-in and soundcheck immediately prior to the performance. We pull the house lighting, take professional photographs and record the performance. We set up a green room with light snacks and refreshments. We feature the artist’s album(s) on an endcap display near the front of the register. Time permitting, we encourage artists to stick around and sign albums.
“WHAT IF WE JUST LIKE, BRING OUR INSTRUMENTS IN AND, YOU KNOW, KEEP IT CHILL AND PLAY IN THE AISLES?”
- No, thank you.
DO YOU CHARGE ADMISSION FOR IN-STORES?
- No. Record Exchange in-stores are always free (and all-ages). In rare instances when we anticipate interest exceeding our capacity, we offer the option of purchasing the artist’s most recent album and receiving with it a wristband guaranteeing admission to the in-store.
WHEN SHOULD WE CONTACT YOU WITH OUR IN-STORE REQUEST?
- If you’re coming through town or have a date set for your release, get in touch with us as soon as you can, preferably 2-3 months before your requested date so we have enough time to prep and promote. WE WILL NOT BOOK YOU WITH LESS THAN ONE MONTH’S ADVANCE NOTICE OF YOUR REQUESTED DATE.
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT?
- Chad Dryden, Marketing and Promotions Director: firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 343-0107, Ext. 1. We respectfully request that you email or call instead of dropping in without an appointment; email is preferred because it gives us an opportunity to learn more about you, preview music/video links, etc. Due to the volume of in-store requests, you may not receive a response. Don’t take it personally.